Cobb parents calling for in-person classes to host rally in Marietta

August 1, 2020 Marietta - Heather Hadden, holding her 5-year old daughter and rising 1st grader speaks during a rally to call on Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and the Cobb school board to offer in-person classes alongside virtual learning outside Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta on Saturday, August 1, 2020. The protesters gathered Saturday at the Cobb County Civic Center to call on Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and the Cobb school board to offer in-person classes alongside virtual learning to students returning to the classroom Aug. 17. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
August 1, 2020 Marietta - Heather Hadden, holding her 5-year old daughter and rising 1st grader speaks during a rally to call on Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and the Cobb school board to offer in-person classes alongside virtual learning outside Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta on Saturday, August 1, 2020. The protesters gathered Saturday at the Cobb County Civic Center to call on Superintendent Chris Ragsdale and the Cobb school board to offer in-person classes alongside virtual learning to students returning to the classroom Aug. 17. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Cobb County parents who want the choice of in-person classes when school begins Monday will hold another rally this weekend to draw attention to their request.

The Reopen Cobb Schools rally is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Marietta Square. The rally will be the second one in as many weeks organized by parents who want the Cobb County School District to reinstate an in-person learning option for their children. Organizers are also circulating a petition calling for the reinstatement of traditional classroom teaching that has received more than 8,400 signatures.

Cobb County schools, the second largest district in the state, will begin the 2020-21 school year Aug. 17 with remote learning. The system, which ended the previous school year virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, initially planned to offer both in-person and virtual learning options to parents when the new year starts. However, due to the recent spike in cases, hospitalizations and deaths stemming from the virus, the district decided to begin the year with a virtual-only option.

Cobb County schools last week released a plan to reopen its classrooms with a phased approach. However, the district stopped short of announcing a target date, and only said it will be implemented when public health data indicates it’s safe to return to in-person learning.

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A few metro Atlanta school districts are starting the new year this week. Clayton County schools began the year Monday with virtual learning for its students. Gwinnett County Public Schools, the state’s largest district, will resume classes remotely Wednesday. The district has said it will gradually move to in-person learning “shortly after the school year starts” for parents who choose that option and as public health conditions allow.

On Thursday, Coweta County schools will start the school year with remote learning, and Forsyth County schools will offer both in-person or virtual learning for their students and parents. Along with Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb County schools start the new year next Monday and Atlanta Public Schools will resume classes Aug. 24.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Vanessa McCray contributed to this report.